In “Democracy in America,” Alexis de Tocqueville anticipated people being governed by “an immense, tutelary power” determined to take “sole charge of assuring their enjoyment and of watching over their fate.” It would be a power “absolute, attentive to detail, regular, provident and gentle,” aiming for our happiness but wanting “to be the only agent and the sole arbiter of that happiness.” It would, Tocqueville said, provide people security, anticipate their needs, direct their industries and divide their inheritances. It would envelop society in “a network of petty regulations — complicated, minute and uniform.” But softly: “It does not break wills; it softens them, bends them, and directs them” until people resemble “a herd of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
Wow. Prophetic? Read more. Not a partisan comment at all, but does any of this sound like what we hear from government circles today? I’m looking for my copy of Democracy in America now.
The preceding is an excerpt from a column by George Will,
And another view/description:
“Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”
All of the focus in the national discussion, outside of conservative talk shows, is about the national deficit and debt (a bit of discussion about those terms in another blog entry). The real discussion should be about the loss of liberty. Truly, our freedom is at stake in the current federal government trends, not just our pocket books — our fundamental freedom. That the government would be so attentive to our every need is … ludicrous … and quite dangerous. It would then “be the only agent and the sole arbiter of that happiness.” (Tocqueville as quoted above). Not you, because you have abdicated your personal responsibility and placed it in the hands of others.